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Distributional analysis. Morphemic analysis. IC-analysis

By the term distributionwe understand the occurrence of a lexical unit

relative to other lexical units of the same level (words relative to words /

morphemes relative to morphemes, etc.). In other words by this term we

understand the position which lexical units occupy or may occupy in the text or in

the flow of speech. The distributionof a unit is the sum total of all its

environments. The environment of a unit may be either “right” or “left”. It is

readily observed that a certain component of the word-meaning is described when

the word is identified distributionally.

The distributional analysisis used to fix and study the units of language in

relation to their contextual environments, i. e. adjoining elements in the text. In the

distributional analysis at the morphemic level, phonemic distribution of

morphemes and morphemic distribution of morphemes are discriminated. The

study is conducted in two stages. At the first stage, the analyzed text is divided into

recurrent segments consisting of phonemes. These segments are called “morphs”.

At the second stage, the environmental features of the morphs are established and

the corresponding identifications are effected.

Three main types of distribution are discriminated: contrastive, noncontrastive

and complementary. Contrastive and non-contrastive distribution

concern identical environments of different morphs. The morphs are said to be in

contrastive distributionif their meanings are different. Such morphs constitute

different morphemes (eg. played, playing). The morphs are said to be in noncontrastive distributionif their meaning is the same. Such morphs constitute

“free alternants”, or “free variants” of the same morpheme (eg. burned, burnt).

Complementary distributionconcerns different environments of formally

different morphs which are united by the same meaning. If two or more morphs

have the same meaning and the difference in their form is explained by different

environments, these morphs are said to be in complementary distribution and

considered the allomorphs of the same morpheme (eg. desks, girls, glasses).

The morphemic analysis(sometimes also called morphological) is one of

possible methods of analyzing word structure along with the word-building

analysis. The morphemic analysis is a process of singling out morphs in a word

and stating their meaning. To state the borders between morphemes correctly, it is

necessary to study the word in a row of words which are structurally similar

(words with the same root and suffixes).

The procedure of the morphemic analysis states the morphemic structure of

the word. The procedure consists of two operations:

1) the stem is separated from the inflection by means of comparing wordforms

of the word;

2) relations between morphemes in the stem are stated by means of

comparing cognate words.

The morphemic analysis based on the distributional analysis gave rise to

such notions as morph, allomorph, morpheme, etc.



The theory of Immediate Constituents (IC)was originally elaborated as an

attempt to determine the ways in which lexical units are relevantly related to one

another. It was discovered that combinations of such units are usually structured

into hierarchically arranged sets of binary constructions. For example in the wordgroup

a black dress in severe stylewe do not relate ato black, black to dress,

dressto in,etc. but set up a structure which may be represented as a black dress /

in severe style.Thus the fundamental aim of IC analysis is to segment a set of

lexical units into two maximally independent sequences or ICs thus revealing the

hierarchical structure of this set. Successive segmentation results in Ultimate

Constituents (UC), i.e. two-facet units that cannot be segmented into smaller units

having both sound-form and meaning. The Ultimate Constituents of the word13

group analysed above are: a| black | dress | in | severe| style.The meaning of the

sentence, word-group, etc. and the IC binary segmentation are interdependent. For

example, fat major’s wifemay mean that either ‘the major is fat’ or ‘his wife is

fat’. The former semantic interpretation presupposes the IC analysis into fat

major’s | wife,whereas the latter reflects a different segmentation into IC’s and

namely fat| major’s wife.

Lecture 2


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 1923


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